Festive mood grips Silchar

SILCHAR, Sept 18: In the backdrop of the ensuing Idd and Durga puja, the festive mood in Silchar seems to touch its feverish pitch as people are braving incessant rains and harsh weather to shop for the coming festivals. Garment stores are also, in the meantime, sweating it out to cater to the variety of demands of the customers from both the communities.
Countdown for Durga puja beings today with Mahalaya though the rain played a spoil-sport to the occasion. However, it failed to dampen the spirit of the people. In greater Silchar, 222 Durga pujas will be organized, a municipality source said. Big budget puja committees are on war-foot to surprise people with their pandal decoration or idol making.
In competition is College Road-Subhashnagar Puja Committee which has hired Ramkrishna Acharjee, a DRDA employee of Agartala who will make a Durga idol with six lakh betel-nuts. Acharjee, in 2007, surprised the entire Barak Valley with his unique creation of idols made with innumerable pieces of glass. Last year also, he outclassed other big budget puja committees with his idols made of buttons.
However, big budget puja committees are facing financial crisis this time as Santosh Mohan Dev is not in the Central Cabinet. For the last five years, Dev, who was the Union Minister for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, used to allot funds of almost Rs 50 lakh to the puja committees as he used to manage sponsorship from PSUs like BHEL, HPC, CCI. Even Oil India and ONGC used to extend financial help in the form of sponsorship.
“This time, we have slashed down our budget to at least 501 per cent as Dev is not in a position to manage sponsorship for us,” confides Manas Purkayastha of Tarapur Motor Stand Puja Committee. An aide of Dev argues that there is no chance of procuring sponsorship from PSUs as he is not in power.
Meanwhile, Susmita Dev, the newly appointed Silchar Municipality Board chairperson convened a public meeting to discuss preparation for the main festival of the Bengalis. Susmita later informed The Sentinel that she personally will monitor the preparation of Silchar police. On the other hand, she has decided to form at least 10 temporary police booths to monitor the law and order situation.
On the other hand, to keep up the spirit of the Durga puja festival, Viswa Hindu Parishad brought out a colourful procession with people adorned as goddess Durga, Laxmi, Saraswati and other goddesses this morning. It garnered immense enthusiasm among the spectators who braved the rain to celebrate Mahalaya. (Source - The Sentinel)

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